Playwright, author and visual artist Tom Block began writing plays a few years ago. His work immediately attracted the attention of Wanderlust Theater Lab’s founder Roselie Vasquez-Yetter. She led Tom’s first play, White Noise through a series of readings and then to production last June. She is currently bringing Tom’s second play, Butterfly, to the stage this February 15-23, in Takoma Park, MD.
His art has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe. He has been awarded monetary grants and other support from the Norman Lear Family Foundation (CA), Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation (NY), Sugarman Foundation(CA), Nelson Talbott Foundation (MD), Puffin Foundation (NJ), New York Foundation for the Arts (NY), Maryland State Arts Council(MD), William and Mary Greve Foundation (NY), Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (MD) and Amnesty International (NY).
He has spoken about his theories of using art as an activist tool at conferences and universities, including: Al-Azhar University(Cairo), Irish Centre for Human Rights (Galway, Ireland), Depaul University (IL), Villanova University (PA), Xavier University (OH),University of Arkansas (AR), Ohio University (OH), Fetzer Institute (MI), Manhattan College (NY), Vanderbilt University (TN),University of Calgary (Canada), Institute of Art (Birmingham, England), Emory University (GA), Grand Valley State University (MI),American Popular Culture Association, Mid Atlantic Popular Culture Association, International Peace Research Association and at other universities and conferences around the world.
His first book, Shalom/Salaam: A Story of a Mystical Fraternity, which traces the influence of Sufism (Islamic mysticism) on the direction of Jewish spirituality over the course of 1000 years, was published in Fall 2010 in the United States (Fons Vitae, Louisville, KY) and Turkey (Bilim Artı Gönül Yayıncılık Ltd. Şti., Istanbul, Turkey). “A Fatal Addiction: War in the Name of God” was published this fall (2012) by Algora Publisher (NY) and his novel The Fool Returns will be published in Turkey this spring (2013). His first play, White Noise was produced in Washington D.C. last June, and will be produced in New York next summer, as a Resident Theater Production of Theater for the New City, in the East Village. His second play, Butterfly, will have its world premier in February 2013, in Takoma Park, MD.